We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland by Fintan O'Toole:
This created a surreal disjunction. ‘Ireland’, as a notion, was almost suffocatingly coherent and fixed: Catholic, nationalist, rural. This was the Platonic form of the place. But Ireland as a lived experience was incoherent and unfixed. The first Ireland was bounded, protected, shielded from the unsavoury influence of the outside world. The second was unbounded, shifting, physically on the move to that outside world. In the space between these two Irelands, there was a haunted emptiness, a sense of something so unreal that it might disappear completely.
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